Why That Bossy Person on Your Team Thinks He Can Get Away With It

Is there someone on your team who thinks he runs the show? 
You probably know about him because others have come to you, again and again, to tell you what a jerk he is. 
You need to talk with him – and set him straight. 
Before you do, read this. 
Annie the Self-Appointed Floor Supervisor
Years ago, I ran a children’s clothing store. There were several ladies on my team. They worked hard, and loved our customers like family. 
Annie was old enough to be my grandmother. She was from the generation that believed in hard work, despised laziness, and felt there was one way to do things. 
One Saturday it all came to a head. 
Two of the ladies took me aside, in the back corner, far away from Annie. 
“She is driving us crazy, bossing us around. You need to talk to her. Now.”
I probed a bit deeper. 
Afterward, I took Annie aside and explained what was going on. It turns out she had no idea how they felt.  
How Bossy People Get Their Kicks
What do you have in common with bullies, salespeople, and your dear old grandmother? 
You want to be right. 
Can you imagine living in a world where everything is uncertain? How would you feel knowing you can’t trust anyone or anything? 
You’d go insane. 
It’s good to know:
  • the light will come on when you flip the switch.
  • the sun will rise tomorrow morning.
  • that someone will probably return a favor you do for her. 
We don’t just want to be right. We’ll fight for what we believe.
Bossy people push people around because they think they know better than you. And when you don’t challenge them, they feel empowered to push more and more. 
It’s time you intervened. 
How to Stop Him in His Tracks
Before we talk about what you’ll say, let’s admit something. 
We all fail at leadership sometimes. 
When a bossy person feels free to be bossy, you haven’t led him well. 
Here’s what you should talk about with him:
  • His Role. He’s not clear on what his job is. You’re the supervisor, not him. If he has constructive suggestions, tell him to share them with you. 
  • His Responsibility. Let him know what you expect. Tell him what power he has to get his own job done. Teach him how to solve problems within his sphere of influence – and to bring those that are outside to you. 
  • His Expectations. Let him know what is considered good work, and what is not. 
  • His Reporting. Emphasize that you will follow up with him regularly. Start with more and taper off when he’s performing as you intended. 
People lead themselves when they are unclear about what’s expected of them. Don’t leave them blanks to fill in. Be proactive, and later you won’t have to be reactive. 
How have you handled a bossy employee? Were you able to take care of it in one conversation, or did it take several? How might these tips help you? Share in the comments!
Posted in bossy people, confrontation, Leadership, Uncategorized and tagged , , .

I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.